Sunday, March 01, 2015

How hard is your water?

I've been trying to work out why there's so much calcium build up in the drain in my shower. I posted a question to Stack Exchange: How can I remove calcium from a drain? and that lead to the suggestion that I get a water softener which I already have so I questioned if it was working: How do I measure how hard my water is?

I found this YouTube video which seems to have a simple test of adding Castile soap to water samples:

It turned out that my industrious wife also had a sample of Castile soap - which I'd never heard of before.

 Using 3 sources for the water:
  • Kirkland (Costco) purified water
  • GE SmartWater filter
  • Tap water

The GE SmartWater filter and the tap water both go through our water softener.

The results:

Now according to the test in the YouTube video I would have expected the Kirkland purified drinking water to have the least concentration of minerals. However it turns out that it has the highest.

It looks like the water from the faucet isn't as soft as it should be so I now question if the water softener is working.

I've always been skeptical about how well these in-house water filters work and am pleasantly surprised that according to this test it's working extremely well.

Update #1: Just noticed that the Kirkland botteled water has "with minerals added for taste" on the label so I guess that it's intentionally not soft. When I initially read "purified drinking water" I missed that.